The Grand Island Central Catholic boys basketball team found themselves in survival mode in the second half against Adams Central.
The Class C-1, No. 4 Crusaders (13-2) let a 12-point halftime lead slip away as the game came down to the final shot.
Still, the Crusaders held on for 41-38 win over the Patriots (10-5) Saturday at home in their final contest before the Centennial Conference tournament next week.
“(Adams Central) did some nice things. We didn’t give up a lot of points in the second half, but we weren’t scoring a lot either,” GICC head coach Tino Martinez said. “They did a nice job of getting some stuff on us. Mostly, I didn’t think we had a very good night offensively. We just need to get some things figured out.”
A free throw from Jack Goering with 37 seconds left gave GICC its 41-38 advantage.
Then 3-point shots for the tie from Jack Keller and Nolan Sughroue and a late putback attempt from Haggen Hilgendorf all missed the mark as time expired.
“I was really proud of our guys in the second half. I thought we really guarded well,” Adams Central head coach Zac Foster said. “We executed our defensive plan really well. We hit some big shots at some big times. It’s just unfortunate, we had a two and a half minute span in the second quarter we just kind of lost our discipline.”
GICC outscored Adams Central 18-6 in the second quarter that loomed large when the game got tight again in the second half.
Central Catholic senior Mayra Almayra spearheaded a 16-2 run that ended the first half, providing 10 of those points by himself. Almayra hit a 3-pointer and completed an old-fashioned 3-point play during the run.
To cap the half, Jack Goering found a wide-open Jacob Herbek under the basket on the fast break for the score. As time expired, Jonah Bales stole the Patriots’ inbound pass and scored on a layup.
Sughroue made two 3-pointers in the first and Thomas Hunt scored on back-to-back possessions to start the second. However, the Patriots struggled to keep pace in the second, shooting 3 of 11 from the floor.
Adams Central came on strong in the second half, limiting the Crusaders to 12 points in the final 16 minutes. They closed the deficit to two points three times in the fourth but never got over the hump.
Almayra finished with 21 points and five rebounds. Jacob Herbek added 10 points. Sughroue had 13 points to lead the Patriots.
Adams Central plays in the Central Conference tournament next week.
The Crusaders are looking to make an impact in their own conference tourney, and that starts with fine-tuning things on offense.
“We’ve got to be shaper on our cuts and screening. We need to get our bigs involved on a regular basis,” Martinez said. “I thought Jacob had a good night, but we have to be able to use those guys so (opponents) can’t just eliminate our perimeter game.”
Adams Central (10-5).....11 6 11 10—38
At GICC (13-2)...........11 18 6 6—41
AC: Nolan Sughroue 4-11 2-3 13, Jack Keller 1-2 0-0 2, Thomas Hunt 5-12 1-1 12, Haggan Hilgendorf 3-8 3-4 9, Landon Weber 0-3 0-1 0m Tyler Slechta 1-3 0-0 2, Gavin Lipovsky 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-40 6-9 48.
GICC: Jack Goering 2-7 1-2 6, Russell Martinez 0-3 0-0 0, Mayra Almayra 6-14 6-7 21, Andrew Herbek 0-1 0-0 0, Jonah Bales 1-5 0-0 2, Jacob Herbek 5-9 0-0 10. Totals 14-39 7-9 41.
3-point field goals—AC 4-19 (Sughroue 3-8, Keller 0-1, Hunt 1-4m Hilgendorf 0-1, Weber 0-2, Slechta 0-2, Lipovsky 0-1). GICC 4-10 (Goering 1-5, Martinez 0-1, Almayra 3-4). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—AC 24 (Hilgendorf 9), GICC 21 (Almayra, Bales 5). Assists—AC 7 (Hunt, Slechta 2), GICC 10 (Goering 5). Turnovers—AC 7, GICC 8. Technicals—None
GICC girls 51, Adams Central 21
Grand Island Central Catholic needed an all-around effort to rebound from a disappointing loss to Centura earlier this week
The Crusaders (11-5) put one together in a 51-21 victory Saturday over Adams Central (8-8) at Central Catholic High School.
Central Catholic outrebounded Adams Central 33-18 and had 13 assists on 18 made baskets.
“I’m just really happy for the girls. I thought this some of the best team basketball we’ve played,” GICC head coach Stacia Rice said. “They were really focused in on defense. I just thought they played really well as a team so I’m proud of them.”
The teams traded baskets in the early going, then it was all Crusaders in a dominating first half.
A 10-0 run to end the first started with a basket and a pair of free throws from Lexie Kohmetscher. Megan Woods, Katie Maser and Courtney Wilson each added a basket before the end of the period.
In the second quarter, nine of Central Catholic’s points came at the free-throw line as the team consistently drew fouls. Their half was capped when Wilson assisted on a triple from Grace Tynan before stealing the ball and taking it coast to coast for a layup as time ran out in the half.
Adams Central scored on its first shot of the second on a jumper from Bryn Lang. The Patriots then missed their last six shots of the period. They didn’t score again until there was a minute left when Morgan Samuelson hit a pair of free throws.
All in all, the Patriots had 13 first-half turnovers while GICC had three. That difference played a large role in the Crusaders 29-9 halftime lead.
“I think we were in control from the start on. It was nice to see,” Rice said
The Patriots got a heavy dose of Woods in the third. The junior put up nine of her game-high 17 points in the period as the Crusaders lead continued to grow.
Wilson finished with nine points and five assists while Kohmetscher had seven points and 11 rebounds.
Morgan Samuelson’s four points and seven boards led the Patriots who will look to rebound with a strong performance in the Central Conference tournament next week.
The Crusaders will play in the Centennial tourney next week.
“For us being able to respond back after losing a game that we probably shouldn’t have lost, Centura is a great team and they were more prepared than us, but it just says a lot about our kids,” Rice said.
Adams Central (8-8).........5 4 5 7—21
At GICC (11-5)...................14 15 12 10—51
AC: Kori Kimberly 0-4 1-22 1, Hannah Lonowski 2-5 0-0 4, Hannah Krabel 1-7 1-2 3, Beth Gill 2-2 0-0 5, Morgan Samuelson 1-5 2-4 4, Bryn Lang 1-5 1-4 3, Sydney Shestak 0-2 0-0 0, Kylie Dierks 0-1 0-0 0, Caitlyn Scott 1-2 0-0 2.
GICC: Courtney Wilson 4-7 1-2 9, Lexie Kohmetscher 1-6 5-6 7, Jenna Lowry 1-6 2-2 5, Katie Maser 1-3 0-0 2, Grace Tynan 1-1 0-0 3, Shayla Steenson 3-9 1-2 7, Elli Steenson 0-1 0-0 0, Megan Woods7-14 3-6 17. Totals 18-47 11-18 51.
3-point field goals—AC 1-14 (Kimberly 0-3, Krabel 0-3, Gill 1-1, Samuelson 0-1, Lang 0-3, Shestak 0-2, Oberheide 0-1). GICC 1-5 (Kohmetscher 0-1, Lowry 0-2, Maser 0-1, Tynan 1-1). Fouled out—None Rebounds—AC 19 (Samuelson 7), GICC 33 (Kohmetscher 11). Assists—AC 2 (Krabel, Shestak 1), GICC 13 (Wilson 5). Turnovers—AC 18, GICC 11. Technicals—None